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Civil Rights Lawsuit Against HUD Suspension of Small Area Fair Market Rents

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Civil rights groups have sued HUD for suspending the obligation on public housing agencies (PHAs) in 23 designated metropolitan areas to implement Small Area Fair Market Rents (SAFMRs). The DC-VA-MD Metro Area is one of the 23 designated metropolitan areas affected by the suspension.

SAFMRs (based on rents per ZIP code) as opposed to traditional FMRs (based on rent for an entire metro area) result in an allocation of rent subsidies that are more in line with the rent levels for that particular neighborhood. The lawsuit alleges that HUD’s suspension of SAFMR has an adverse disparate impact on minority communities. To view the complaint click here.

At the time HUD announced the introduction of the SAFMR rule, HUD believed that SAFMRs “could provide HCV tenants greater access to higher opportunity, lower poverty neighborhoods.” 80 Fed. Reg. 31,333. Yet, HUD suspended this rule because HUD now believes further cost benefit analysis is needed of SAFMRs, and because of concerns raised by several PHA industry groups.

To learn more you can read NLIHC’s article about the lawsuit by clicking here.